Funeral home workers across China are heading to Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, to assist the city in dealing with the uptick in related deaths.
Meanwhile, netizens shared on social media job recruitment notices offering workers high salaries to work at Wuhan funeral homes.
This adds to growing evidence that deaths due to the virus are piling up, at a scale greater than what authorities are officially reporting.
Some local medical workers have also revealed the true severity of the outbreak.
Support for WuhanOn Feb. 12, a photo was broadly shared on Twitter, where 14 people dressed in the same uniform were standing in front of the Shiqiaopu Funeral Home in Chongqing City.
They unfurled a banner, which read: “Chongqing supports Hubei Province, funeral home service team.” Chongqing lies just to the west of Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital.
RecruitmentNetizens shared a recruitment notice from the Wuchang Funeral Home posted onto a chat group on WeChat, a social media and messaging app. The Wuchang facility is one of the three main funeral homes in downtown Wuhan.
According to the recruitment issued on Feb. 12, the funeral home needs 20 workers to pick up bodies from midnight to 4 a.m. Listed among the requirements for the job candidates are “16 to 50 years old...being physically strong and brave.”
The salary is 1,000 yuan ($143) per hour—a high sum compared with the average Chinese salary.
Chinese health authorities have mandated that people who die from the COVID-19 be cremated.
The crematorium official whom The Epoch Times spoke with explained that about 60 percent of the patients died at home without receiving a final diagnosis; thus, they are unlikely to have counted toward the official death toll.
The newly named COVID-19 by the World Health Organizations (WHO) is a type of coronavirus—a family of pathogens that also includes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the common flu. It first broke out in Wuhan in early December 2019.
It further estimated the case fatality ratio to be 18 percent among people with severe symptoms in Hubei.